A country of millionaires? (The Slovak Spectator)

Podľa Richarda Ďuranu z INESS nebol pri
súčasnom raste daňových príjmov dôvod zavádzať milionársku daň, ktorá len
zvyšuje progresivitu v daňovom systéme. Už pred zavedením tejto dane
platilo 13% najlepšie zarábajúcich polovicu dane z príjmu fyzických osôb,
povedal pre The Slovak Spectator dňa 25.2.2008.

A country of millionaires? (The Slovak Spectator)

PEOPLE who are far from being millionaires will have to pay
the "millionaire tax" on last year's income for the first time in
Slovakia's colourful tax history.

The Robert Fico government introduced the new framework in
2006 on anyone who earns more than Sk47,600 (EUR1,448) a month, which
translates into Sk570,000 a year. The tax will be paid upon submission of tax
returns on March 31.

The non-taxable minimum that is deducted from a taxpayer's
base income is gradually decreased starting at Sk47,600 gross, until being
completely eliminated for those who earn more than Sk85,000 (EUR2586) a month.

Employees of the banking, telecommunications and IT sectors
could be most affected by the millionaire tax, according to a recent survey of
nearly 70,000 respondents by the Profesia.sk website.

Of the respondents facing a heavier tax burden, 16 percent
work in the banking sector, 11 percent in telecommunications and 10 percent in
information technology. The pharmaceutical, trade and automotive sectors also
have a considerable number of high-earning employees, Profesia wrote.

The Bratislava Region leads the chart with more than 9
percent of millionaire tax payers, while in the Prešov and Trenčín Regions, the
number of people whose income exceeds Sk47,600 a month doesn't even reach 1
percent. In other regions, the ratio of employees with an above-average salary
varies between 1 to 2 percent.

The legislation affects only 5 percent of working women, but
14 percent of men, the survey showed. As salaries often reflect the level of
education, 15 percent of people with university degrees will see their
non-taxable base drop or disappear, according to the survey.

However, less than fourteen months after the millionaire tax
came into effect, experts say the legislation has completely missed its aim,
since top earners have not been affected at all.

The goal of the
millionaire tax was to raise money, said Richard Ďurana, director of the
Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS), but restructuring the state
budget would have been a better way.

At a time when tax
revenues are swelling at a rate of 10 percent annually, we do not consider the
adoption of progressive income taxation justified, he added.

Raising taxes has
since time immemorial been a "populist act" that brings mostly
negative results, he concluded.

Ďurana said long
before the amendment came into force, half of state budget revenues from income
tax came from people earning salaries above Sk28,000, which is 13 percent of
the working population.

"This is why
there has not been a reason to increase the progressive taxation," Ďurana
said.

Jozef Mihál, from the Relia Financial Consulting Company,
agrees.

"Since the millionaire tax affected mostly managers,
employees of multinational companies, people running businesses and more highly
educated employees, we can say that it amounts to a penalty for hard work and
success," he told The Slovak Spectator.

The millionaire tax will actually have the most obvious
effect on the middle class, Ján Marušinec of the MESA 10 think tank said.

"The wealthiest people are able to avoid paying this
tax because most of their income is generated from running a business rather
than regular employment," Marušinec told The Slovak Spectator.

The government claims the change will reduce the gap between
the haves and have-nots, but that has been achieved only marginally, Marušinec
said. Instead, it de-motivates qualified employees from building their careers.

Ďurana contradicted
the second part of that sentiment, but does believe employees and employers
will find ways to avoid being designated a millionaire.

The Slovak Spectator, 25.2.2008,

INESS je nezávislé, neštátne a nepolitické občianske združenie. Všetky naše aktivity sú financované z grantov, 2% daňovej asignácie, vlastnej činnosti a darov fyzických a právnických osôb. Naše fungovanie, rozsah a kvalita výstupov, teda vo veľkej miere závisí aj od Vašej štedrosti.
Naše
ocenenia
Zlatý klinec Nadácia Orange Templeton Freedom Award Dorian & Antony Fisher Venture Grants Golden Umbrella Think Tanks Awards